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English for Academic and Professional Purposes (07/12/19 – Lecture Notes)

CONDUCTING AN INTERVIEW
1. One-on-one
2. Panel
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Open-ended (details)
2. Closed (yes/no)
3. Factual (facts/objective)
4. Opinion (subjective)
5. Hypothetical (what if)
PARTS OF AN INTERVIEW
1. Introduction (first impression)
2. Interview Proper (question and answer)
3. Conclusion (show gratitude and leave an impression)
APPLICATION LETTER

 Cover letter
 An application letter is one of the first few things that you need to prepare when applying
for a job.
 A document which main purpose is to describe your skills, market your abilities and
summarizes your experiences.
 It contains your background, summarizes your knowledge and experiences and includes
a few more details as to why you are qualified for the job.
 Application letter expresses your intent to apply for a specific job within an organization,
business or company.
RESUME
1. Personal Information (name, address, contact no., email address)
2. Objective (highlights your intention and future contributions)
3. Qualification/Skills
4. Seminar/Trainings/Affliations
5. Character References
6. Education
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (10/01/19 – Lecture Notes)
BUSINESS LETTER
- It is a form of written communication between a sender and a receiver that is used to
transact business that can not be easily relayed orally.
- It is formal and direct and it avoids figurative language.
A. PURPOSE
- Serves as a record
- Requires an action from the receiver
- Establishes goodwill among people and establishments
B. CONVENTIONAL STRUCTURE AND FORMAT
1. Heading. It gives the writer's address (including phone number. if necessary) and date:
GuranTeed Vinyl Building Products, Inc.
Consumer Service Center
984-985 South Broadway Ave.
Springfield, IL 71203
800-334-9183
Oct.26, 1996
2. Inside Address. It includes the receiver's name, title, if appli-cable, and address.
Mr. Bill Johnson
6243 Forest Hill Dr.
Harrisonburg, PA 17102
Vivian Calvelli
Director / Office of Institutional Diversity
William Penn University
23 W. College Drive
Harrisonburg, PA 17010
3. Salutation. The conventional greeting in a business letter is followed by a colon rather than a
comma. The most frequently used titles for greeting are the abbreviated Mr., Mrs., Ms. and Dr.
Other titles (Professor, Reverent, Senator, Presi-dent) need to be spelled out in full.
Dear Mr. Johnson;
Dear Mrs. Evans:
Dear Ms. Nightingale:
Dear Dr. Liu:
Dear Professor Wu:
Dear Senator Kenwood:
If you don't know the name and title of the particular person you are writing to (director of the
admissions office of a college, manager of the customers service of a business compa-ny), you
can greet the reader with
Dear Sir or Madam:
If you are writing for general reference rather than to any particular person or a specific
organization, you can use the following rather formal greeting:
To Whom This May Concern:
4. Body. This contains the message of the letter. The body of a fully developed business letter
has several basic components:
Part I: Statement of Message or Purpose of Writing
The message or purpose could be to make an officer to reject an application, or to request
information. Such a statement is given in the introductory paragraph (s) so as not to leave
the intended reader second-guessing. Sometimes, however, the statement is delayed
after mutual interest has been established or back-ground information has been provided.
Part II: Elaboration
Paragraphs following the introduction usually give more detailed information or specific
reasons pertinent to the message (why a deal is accepted or rejected).
Part Ill: Limitation
This part is included if it is necessary to qualify the content of the preceding parts
(concerning the content's extent, accuracy, completeness, application, acceptability, and
potential effects).
Part IV: Conclusion
The letter can be concluded, among other things, with a reconfirmation of the message,
expression of goodwill, expectation of a prompt reply, or a summary of the benefits.
5. Closing. The closing is as conventional as the salutation. There are a variety of closings,
arranged in the following from the less formal to the more formal:
Best regards,
Sincerely,
Sincerely yours,
Yours sincerely,
Truly yours,
Yours truly,
Yours very truly.
Respectfully,
Respectfully yours,
6. Signature. The writer's name is signed in ink right beneath the closing, then typed right below
the signature, followed by his or her title or position, if applicable.
C. FORMATS
1) FULL BLOCK
Full block format features all elements of the letter aligned to the left margin of the page.
It has a neat and simple appearance. Paragraphs are separated by a double line space.
2) MODIFIED BLOCK
Modified block style business letters are less formal than full block style letters. If you are
corresponding with someone you already have a good working relationship with, the
modified block style letter is a good one to use.
3) SEMI-BLOCK
The semi-block format business letter is a little less formal than the block format letter and
slightly more formal than the modified block format letter. It works well in almost all
situations and is a good choice if you find yourself on the fence about which format to use.
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (11/01/19 – Lecture Notes)
REQUEST LETTER
A. WRITING
1. Identify the proper person for the request. Many times, part of making a request is finding
out who the right person to contact is. Generally, you should ask the person most qualified to fulfill
your request, and it may take some work to find out who that is.

 If you are writing to ask a favor of a company, then you might need to call the company
secretary to identify the appropriate person. Get this person’s full name, address, phone
number and title.
 You might need to write a different request letter to ask someone who you should write to.
In this case, still follow these steps for writing a request letter.
2. Learn the format for a business letter. Your request letter should use the proper business
letter format, as it is likely a formal request. This applies whether you're sending an email or a
hard copy letter. Become familiar with the following format and be sure to use it when writing your
letter.
3. Leave enough time for the request. Keep in mind that whoever you're writing to probably has
other tasks to complete, so your request may take some time to get to. If your request is time-
sensitive, be sure to give the recipient a enough advance notice to process it. Generally, allowing
a week for requests is a good guideline, though bigger tasks could very well take longer.
 For example, you wouldn't ask for a letter of recommendation from a teacher 2 days before
it's due. That is an unreasonable request. If you'd planned ahead, you'd know that such
requests usually require 2 weeks to fulfill.
B. CONTENT AND TONE
1. Opening Statement - The first sentence or two should state the purpose of the letter clearly.
I am writing to appeal my current disciplinary status, and to apologize for my involvement in the
floor crawl which led to my being placed on notice. I realize that what seemed harmless fun to me
was actually a danger to my health and the health of others. I sincerely regret my actions that
night…
I am writing to request a course overload for 2018-2019…
2. Be Factual - Include factual detail but avoid dramatizing the situation.
In late October I was diagnosed with tonsillitis. I was sick for over a week, and missed most of my
mid-term exams.
NOT In late October after feeling really sick for a few days I finally dragged myself to Student
Health Services…
3. Be Specific - If an appeal or request depends on particular facts which the decision maker will
want to verify, be specific.
I missed a test on January 23, because I flew to Vancouver on January 19 for my grandfather’s
funeral and returned on January 26. I enclose the airline receipt and can provide further
corroboration if that would be helpful.
NOT I had to attend a funeral out of town so I missed the test on January 23.
4. Documentation – Include any documentation required by policy or needed to substantiate
your claims. If documentation is being sent by a third party, state that with details.
Dr. Well, my father’s physician, has agreed to write to you about this matter…
5. Stick to the Point - Don’t clutter your letter with information or requests that have no essential
connection to the main message.
6. Be Brief - It is more work to write a good short letter than a long one. Busy decision makers
appreciate the extra effort.
7. Avoid errors - A letter will make a better impression if it is typed; free of spelling and grammar
mistakes; free of slang; and placed in the right sized envelope. BUT it is much more important to
meet deadlines and state the purpose clearly than to submit a letter which is completely error-
free.
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (17/01/19 – Lecture Notes)
INQUIRY LETTER
- A letter of inquiry has two-fold purposes – to introduce the writer and to ask a question or
raise an issue that demands some specific response.
- These questions may be on the nature or cost of produces manufactured and services
rendered, on conditions of payments, modes of delivery, list of objects, and policies of the
company.
A. THINGS TO FOLLOW IN WRITING A LETTER OF INQUIRY
1. State your purpose directly at the beginning of your letter.
2. Give a brief description about yourself as the writer or the company you’re representing by
giving your title or reasons for obtaining such information.
3. Close your letter courteously. Avoid ending your letter with the expressions like thank you very
much, many thanks, or thanking you in advance.
Before ending your letter, you may write about the good points or benefits the reader may get by
responding to your request. Or, you may state your reasons for deciding to address your letter to
him. But, in doing this, you have to be sincere. Resorting to ingratiating words will not make your
letter of inquiry more effective. (Poe, 1994).
B. OPENING STATEMENTS
1. Will you please…
2. I shall be grateful if you…
3. May I please…
4. I should appreciate hearing…
5. Please send me a…
C. ENDING STATEMENTS
1. Your suggestions would be genuinely appreciated
2. We shall be grateful for this service
3. I am certain that we can count on your cooperation
4. I hope we can count on your cooperation
5. We shall appreciate your granting our request
D. RESPONSES TO INQUIRIES
1. Reply promptly and courteously.
2. Give a complete response.
3. Provide relevant information.
The contents of a response to a letter of inquiry follow this organization.
E. WHEN THE INQUIRY IS GRANTED
1. Thank or appreciate the writer for his interest in your company, product, or services.
2. Provide all the information or relevant materials requested
3. Show willingness for further assistance from you.
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (18/01/19 – Lecture Notes)
COMPLAINT LETTER
- A letter of complaint may be written to register any question or grievance regarding
defective goods or inadequate services.
- It has a two-fold purpose – to inform a manufacturer or supplier of one’s dissatisfaction
and to cause a present or future change in the situation.
A. GUIDELINES IN WRITING A COMPLAINT LETTER
1. It should give a clear description of the grievance with a detailed evidence of the damage.
2. It should state the writer’s immediate response to the situation, such as withholding the
payment or returning the goods.
3. It should suggest a remedy to avoid the unsatisfactory situation in the future, like asking
for a discount, for a replacement, and for a change in procedure or policy.
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (24/01/19 – Lecture Notes)
ORDER LETTER

 An order letter is usually written to assign orders or place order of goods.


 The letter is written after careful research about the desired product or service.
 The language of the letter is formal and everything is written in a standard format.
 The letter is written in a very precise and specific manner.
 It is a contract proving the process of sale and purchase between two parties.
A. CONTENTS
1. Order details
Here, you write everything, really EVERYTHING, about your order. Indicate model number, color,
size, number of items, etc. Be attentive, as the seller will send you exactly what you’ll order. If you
buy several different items, describe each of them in a separate paragraph.
2. Payment mode
You can pay with your credit card, check, money transfer, or even cash if you prefer courier
delivery. In some cases, the seller specifies the preferred payment mode. If you’ve already paid
in advance, mention it in your letter. Your email should also contain information about the cost of
the price, such as taxes, so that there is no misunderstanding when making a payment.
3. Delivery
Indicate the preferable mode of shipping. Don’t forget to point out a deadline delivery date. If you
want the seller to cooperate with the carrier, indicate his phone number. Mention if you prefer a
door-to-door delivery or if you can pick your goods from storage.
4. Special instructions
This section may include any information about the terms and conditions agreed upon by you and
the other party involved.
5. Future cooperation
As a rule, sellers pay more attention to the orders received from prospective clients. If you are
planning to cooperate with the supplier in the future, don’t hesitate to mention it in your order
letter.
6. Contacts
In case the seller has some difficulties with your order or delivery, he should have the ability to
contact you as quickly as possible. Thus, you should share your contact information in your
purchase letter.

English for Academic and Professional Purposes (01/02/19 – Lecture Notes)


LABORATORY REPORT

 are written to describe and analyze a laboratory experiment that explores a scientific
concept.
A. CHARACTERISTICS
1. Clear
2. Accurate
3. 2-3 pages
4. No pronouns
5. No slangs

B. ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS
1. The Title Page
 needs to contain the name of the experiment, the names of lab partners,
instructor’s name and the date performed/submitted.
 Titles should be straightforward, informative, and less than ten words (i.e. Not “Lab
#4” but “Lab #4: Sample Analysis using the Debye-Sherrer Method”).
 Title will tell what has been done. It should be brief.
2. The Abstract
 summarizes four essential aspects of the report: the purpose of the experiment
(sometimes expressed as the purpose of the report), key findings, significance
and major conclusions.
 The abstract often also includes a brief reference to theory or methodology. The
information should clearly enable readers to decide whether they need to read your
whole report.
 The abstract should be one paragraph of 100-200 words (the sample below is 191
words).
3. The Introduction is more narrowly focused than the abstract.
 It states the objective of the experiment
 It provides the reader with background to the experiment. State the topic of your
report clearly and concisely, in one or two sentences.
 It is wherein the hypothesis is stated.
4. Methods and Materials (or Equipment)
 can usually be a simple list, but make sure it is accurate and complete.
 you can simply direct the reader to a lab manual or standard procedure:
“Equipment was set up as in CHE 276 manual.”
5. Experimental Procedure
 describes the process in chronological order.
 Using clear paragraph structure, explain all steps in the order they actually
happened, not as they were supposed to happen.
 Highly detailed for the reproduction of methods
6. Results are usually dominated by calculations, tables and figures; however, you still need
to state all significant results explicitly in verbal form.
7. Discussion (Explain. Analyze. Interpret)
 Some people like to think of this as the “subjective” part of the report. However,
logical thinking of data interpretation is needed.
 Consider how the result supports the initial hypothesis or objectives.
8. Conclusion
 can be very short in most undergraduate laboratories. Simply state what you know
now for sure, as a result of the lab.
 Often a single paragraph summation
 It mirrors the introduction, hypothesis and discussions
9. References include your lab manual and any outside reading you have done. Check this
site’s documentation page to help you organize references in a way appropriate to your
field.
10. Appendices
 typically include such elements as raw data, calculations, graphs pictures or tables
that have not been included in the report itself.
 Each kind of item should be contained in a separate appendix.
 Make sure you refer to each appendix at least once in your report.

For example, the results section might begin by noting: “Micrographs printed from
the Scanning Electron Microscope are contained in Appendix A.”
MEMORANDUM

 Or memo, is the most commonly used means of inter-office correspondence or intra-


organization communication
 Directed to an individual or a group of people within the company for announcements of
the following:
 New company policy, rules, or directives
 New activities or instructions
 Proper company behavior, attitudes and practices
A. COMPONENTS
1. Header
TO:
THRU:
FROM:
DATE:
SUBJECT:

CC – carbon copy
2. Body
- Content of the memorandum
- Specific and detailed manner
3. Signature
English for Academic and Professional Purposes (Lecture Notes – 07/02/2019)
CASE STUDY
- Case studies are analysis of persons, groups, events, decisions, periods, policies,
institutions or other systems that are studied holistically by one or more methods.
- single and multiple case studies
- can include quantitative evidence
- relies on multiple sources of evidence

A. WRITING STYLE
1. Illustrative (descriptive of events)
2. exploratory (investigative)
3. cumulative (collective information comparisons)
4. critical (examine particular subject with cause and effect outcomes)
B. GETTING STARTED
Step 1 – Determine which case study type, design or style is most applicable to your
intended audiance.
 Corporations may choose illustrative case studies to show what has been done for a client;
schools, educators and students may select cumulative or critical case studies and legal
teams may demonstrate exploratory (investigative) case studies as a way to provide
factual evidence.
 Whatever case study type you are employing, your purpose is to thoroughly analyze a
situation (or “case”) which could reveal factors or information otherwise ignored or
unknown. They can be written about companies, whole countries, or even individuals.
What’s more, they can be written on more abstract things, like programs or practices.
Really, if you can dream it, you can write a case study about it.
Step 2 – Determine the topic of your case study.
 Once you’ve picked your angle, you need to determine what your research will be about
and where it will take place (your case site). What have you talked about in class? Have
you caught yourself coming up with questions during your reading?
 Start your research at the library and/or on the Internet to begin delving into a specific
problem. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a very specific problem, find as much
about it as you can in a variety of different sources. Look up information in books, journals,
DVDs, websites, magazines, newspapers, etc. As you go through each one, take
adequate notes so you can find the info later![1]
Step 3 – Research case studies that have been published on the same or similar subject
matter.
 Talk to your colleagues, go to the library, surf the web until your bum falls asleep. You
don’t want to be repeating research that has already been done.
 Find out what has been written before, and read the important articles about your case
site. When you do this, you may find there is an existing problem that needs solving, or
you may find that you have to come up with an interesting idea that might or might not
work at your case site.
 Review sample case studies that are similar in style and scope to get an idea of
composition and format, too

C. PREPARING FOR INTERVIEWS WITH RESPONDENTS


Step 1 – Select participants that you will interview for inclusion in your case study.
 Experts in a particular field of study or customers that have implemented a tool or service
that is the subject of the study will provide the best information.
 Find knowledgeable people to interview. They don’t necessarily have to be on your site,
but they must be, actively or in the past, directly involved.
 Determine whether you will interview an individual or group of individuals to serve as
examples in your case study. It may be beneficial for participants to gather as a group and
provide insight collectively. If the study focuses on personal subject matter or medical
issues, it may be better to conduct personal interviews.
 Gather as much information as possible about your subjects to ensure that you develop
interviews and activities that will result in obtaining the most advantageous information to
your study.
Step 2 – Draft a list of interview questions and decide upon how you will conduct your
study.
 This could be via in-person group interviews and activities, personal interviews, or phone
interviews. Sometimes, email is an option.
 When you are interviewing people, ask them questions that will help you understand their
opinions. I.e., How do you feel about the situation? What can you tell me about how the
site (or the situation) developed? What do you think should be different, if anything? You
also need to ask questions that will give you facts that might not be available from an
article–make your work different and purposeful.[2]
Step 3 – Set up interviews with subject matter experts (account managers in a
corporation, clients and customers using applicable tools and services, etc.).
 Make sure all your informants are aware of what you’re doing. They need to be fully
informed (and signing waivers in certain cases) and your questions need to be appropriate
and not controversial.
D. OBTAINING DATA
Step 1 – Conduct interviews.
 Ask the same or similar questions of all subjects involved to ensure that you get different
perspectives on a similar subject or service.
 When you ask a question that doesn’t let someone answer with a “yes” or a “no” you
usually get more information. What you are trying to do is get the person to tell you
whatever it is that he or she knows and thinks –even though you don’t always know just
what that is going to be before you ask the question. Keep your questions open-ended.[2]
 Request data and materials from subjects as applicable to add credibility to your findings
and future presentations of your case study. Clients can provide statistics about usage of
a new tool or product and participants can provide photos and quotes that show evidence
of findings that may support the case.
Step 2 – Collect and analyze all applicable data, including documents, archival records,
observations and artifacts.
 Organize all of your data in the same place to ensure easy access to information and
materials while writing the case study.
 You can’t include it all. So, you need to think about how to sort through it, take out the
excess, and arrange it so that the situation at the case site will be understandable to your
readers. Before you can do this, you have to put all the information together where you
can see it and analyze what is going on.[2]
Step 3 – Formulate the problem in one or two sentences.
 As you go through your data, think about how you can put what you’ve found into a thesis-
like statement. What patterns have your subjects brought to light?
 This will allow you to concentrate on what material is the most important. You’re bound to
receive information from participants that should be included, but solely on the periphery.
Organize your material to mirror this.
E. WORKING YOUR CASE
Step 1 – Develop and write your case study using the data collected throughout the
research, interviewing and analysis processes.

 Include at least four sections in your case study: an introduction, background


information explaining why the case study was created, presentation of findings and a
conclusion which clearly presents all of the data and references.
 The introduction should very clearly set the stage. In a detective story, the crime
happens right at the beginning and the detective has to put together the information to
solve it for the rest of the story. In a case, you can start by raising a question. You
could quote someone you interviewed.
 Make sure to include background information on your study site, why your interviewees
are a good sample, and what makes your problem pressing to give your audience a
panoramic view of the issue. After you’ve clearly stated the problem at hand, of
course.[1] Include photos or a video if it would benefit your work to be persuasive and
personalized.
 After the reader has all the knowledge needed to understand the problem, present
your data. Include customer quotes and data (percentages, awards and findings) if
possible to add a personal touch and more credibility to the case presented. Describe
for the reader what you learned in your interviews about the problem at this site, how
it developed, what solutions have already been proposed and/or tried, and feelings
and thoughts of those working or visiting there. You may have to do calculations or
extra research yourself to back up any claims.
 At the end of your analysis, you should offer possible solutions, but don’t worry about
solving the case itself. You may find referring to some interviewees’ statements will do
the alluding for you. Let the reader leave with a full grasp of the problem, but trying to
come up with their own desire to change it.[1] Feel free to leave the reader with a
question, forcing them to think for themselves. If you have written a good case, they
will have enough information to understand the situation and have a lively class
discussion.
Step 2 – Add references and appendices (if any).
 Just like you would in any other paper, reference your sources. That’s why you got credible
ones in the first place. And if you have any information that relates to the study but would
have interrupted the flow of the body, include it now.
 You may have terms that would be hard for other cultures to understand. If this is the case,
include it in the appendix or in a Note for the Instructor.
Step 3 – Make additions and deletions.
 As your work is forming, you’ll notice that it may morph into an object you didn’t otherwise
expect. If it does so, make additions and deletions as needed. You may find that
information you once thought pertinent is no longer. Or vice versa.
 Go over your study section by section, but also as a whole. Each data point needs to fit
into both it’s place and the entirety of the work. If you can’t find an appropriate place for
something, stick it in the appendix.
Step 4 – Edit and proofread your work.
 Now that your paper is formulated, look for minute revisions. As always, correct any
grammar, spelling and punctuation errors, but also keep an eye out for flow and transition.
Is everything placed and worded as efficiently as possible?
 Have someone else proofread, too. Your mind may have become oblivious to the errors it
has seen 100 times. Another set of eyes may also notice content that has been left open-
ended or is otherwise confusing.
FIELD REPORT
Your responsibility when writing a field report is to create a research study based on data
generated by the act of designing a specific study, deliberate observation, a synthesis of key
findings, and an interpretation of their meaning.
A. THINGS TO DO
 Systematically observe and accurately record the varying aspects of a situation.
Always approach your field study with a detailed protocol about what you will observe,
where you should conduct your observations, and the method by which you will collect
and record your data.
 Continuously analyze your observations. Always look for the meaning underlying the
actions you observe. Ask yourself: What's going on here? What does this observed activity
mean? What else does this relate to? Note that this is an on-going process of reflection
and analysis taking place for the duration of your field research.
 Keep the report’s aims in mind while you are observing. Recording what you observe
should not be done randomly or haphazardly; you must be focused and pay attention to
details. Enter the observation site [i.e., "field"] with a clear plan about what you are
intending to observe and record while, at the same time, being prepared to adapt to
changing circumstances as they may arise.
 Consciously observe, record, and analyze what you hear and see in the context of
a theoretical framework. This is what separates data gatherings from simple reporting.
The theoretical framework guiding your field research should determine what, when, and
how you observe and act as the foundation from which you interpret your findings.
B. TECHNIQUES TO RECORD YOUR OBSERVATIONS

Although there is no limit to the type of data gathering technique you can use, these are the
most frequently used methods:

 Note Taking
This is the most commonly used and easiest method of recording your observations.
Tips for taking notes include: organizing some shorthand symbols beforehand so that
recording basic or repeated actions does not impede your ability to observe, using
many small paragraphs, which reflect changes in activities, who is talking, etc., and,
leaving space on the page so you can write down additional thoughts and ideas
about what’s being observed, any theoretical insights, and notes to yourself that are
set aside for further investigation. See drop-down tab for additional information about
note-taking.
 Photography
With the advent of smart phones, high quality photographs can be taken of the
objects, events, and people observed during a field study. Photographs can help
capture an important moment in time as well as document details about the space
where your observation takes place. Taking a photograph can save you time in
documenting the details of a space that would otherwise require extensive note
taking. However, be aware that flash photography could undermine your ability to
observe unobtrusively so assess the lighting in your observation space; if it's too
dark, you may need to rely on taking notes. Also, you should reject the idea that
photographs are some sort of "window into the world" because this assumption
creates the risk of over-interpreting what they show. As with any product of data
gathering, you are the sole instrument of interpretation and meaning-making, not the
object itself.
 Video and Audio Recordings
Video or audio recording your observations has the positive effect of giving you an
unfiltered record of the observation event. It also facilitates repeated analysis of your
observations. This can be particularly helpful as you gather additional information or
insights during your research. However, these techniques have the negative effect of
increasing how intrusive you are as an observer and will often not be practical or
even allowed under certain circumstances [e.g., interaction between a doctor and a
patient] and in certain organizational settings [e.g., a courtroom].
 Illustrations/Drawings
This does not refer to an artistic endeavor but, rather, refers to the possible need, for
example, to draw a map of the observation setting or illustrating objects in relation to
people's behavior. This can also take the form of rough tables or graphs
documenting the frequency and type of activities observed. These can be
subsequently placed in a more readable format when you write your field report. To
save time, draft a table [i.e., columns and rows] on a separate piece of paper before
an observation if you know you will be entering data in that way.
Examples of Things to Document While Observing
 Physical setting. The characteristics of an occupied space and the human use of the
place where the observation(s) are being conducted.
 Objects and material culture. This refers to the presence, placement, and arrangement
of objects that impact the behavior or actions of those being observed. If applicable,
describe the cultural artifacts representing the beliefs--values, ideas, attitudes, and
assumptions--used by the individuals you are observing.
 Use of language. Don't just observe but listen to what is being said, how is it being said,
and, the tone of conversation among participants.
 Behavior cycles. This refers to documenting when and who performs what behavior or
task and how often they occur. Record at which stage is this behavior occurring within the
setting.
 The order in which events unfold. Note sequential patterns of behavior or the moment
when actions or events take place and their significance.
 Physical characteristics of subjects. If relevant, note age, gender, clothing, etc. of
individuals being observed.
 Expressive body movements. This would include things like body posture or facial
expressions. Note that it may be relevant to also assess whether expressive body
movements support or contradict the language used in conversation [e.g., detecting
sarcasm].
C. SAMPLING TECHNIQUES
- Sampling refers to the process used to select a portion of the population for study.
Ways to sample when conducting an observation include:
1. Ad Libitum Sampling -- this approach is not that different from what people do at the
zoo--observing whatever seems interesting at the moment. There is no organized system
of recording the observations; you just note whatever seems relevant at the time. The
advantage of this method is that you are often able to observe relatively rare or unusual
behaviors that might be missed by more deliberate sampling methods. This method is also
useful for obtaining preliminary observations that can be used to develop your final field
study. Problems using this method include the possibility of inherent bias toward
conspicuous behaviors or individuals and that you may miss brief interactions in social
settings.
2. Behavior Sampling -- this involves watching the entire group of subjects and recording
each occurrence of a specific behavior of interest and with reference to which individuals
were involved. The method is useful in recording rare behaviors missed by other sampling
methods and is often used in conjunction with focal or scan methods. However, sampling
can be biased towards particular conspicuous behaviors.
3. Continuous Recording -- provides a faithful record of behavior including frequencies,
durations, and latencies [the time that elapses between a stimulus and the response to it].
This is a very demanding method because you are trying to record everything within the
setting and, thus, measuring reliability may be sacrificed. In addition, durations and
latencies are only reliable if subjects remain present throughout the collection of data.
However, this method facilitates analyzing sequences of behaviors and ensures obtaining
a wealth of data about the observation site and the people within it. The use of audio or
video recording is most useful with this type of sampling.
4. Focal Sampling -- this involves observing one individual for a specified amount of time
and recording all instances of that individual's behavior. Usually you have a set of
predetermined categories or types of behaviors that you are interested in observing [e.g.,
when a teacher walks around the classroom] and you keep track of the duration of those
behaviors. This approach doesn't tend to bias one behavior over another and provides
significant detail about a individual's behavior. However, with this method, you likely have
to conduct a lot of focal samples before you have a good idea about how group members
interact. It can also be difficult within certain settings to keep one individual in sight for the
entire period of the observation.
5. Instantaneous Sampling -- this is where observation sessions are divided into short
intervals divided by sample points. At each sample point the observer records if
predetermined behaviors of interest are taking place. This method is not effective for
recording discrete events of short duration and, frequently, observers will want to record
novel behaviors that occur slightly before or after the point of sampling, creating a
sampling error. Though not exact, this method does give you an idea of durations and is
relatively easy to do. It is also good for recording behavior patterns occurring at a specific
instant, such as, movement or body positions.
6. One-Zero Sampling -- this is very similar to instantaneous sampling, only the observer
records if the behaviors of interest have occurred at any time during an interval instead of
at the instant of the sampling point. The method is useful for capturing data on behavior
patterns that start and stop repeatedly and rapidly, but that last only for a brief period of
time. The disadvantage of this approach is that you get a dimensionless score for an entire
recording session, so you only get one one data point for each recording session.
7. Scan Sampling -- this method involves taking a census of the entire observed group at
predetermined time periods and recording what each individual is doing at that moment.
This is useful for obtaining group behavioral data and allows for data that are evenly
representative across individuals and periods of time. On the other hand, this method may
be biased towards more conspicuous behaviors and you may miss a lot of what is going
on between observations, especially rare or unusual behaviors. It is also difficult to record
more than a few individuals in a group setting without missing what each individual is doing
at each predetermined moment in time [e.g., children sitting at a table during lunch at
school].
D. STRUCTURE AND WRITING STYLE
I. Introduction
The introduction should describe the research problem, the specific objectives of your
research, and the important theories or concepts underpinning your field study. The
introduction should describe the nature of the organization or setting where you are
conducting the observation, what type of observations you have conducted, what your focus
was, when you observed, and the methods you used for collecting the data. You should also
include a review of pertinent literature related to the research problem, particularly if similar
methods were used in prior studies. Conclude your introduction with a statement about how
the rest of the paper is organized.
II. Description of Activities
Your readers only knowledge and understanding of what happened will come from the
description section of your report because they have not been witness to the situation, people,
or events that you are writing about. Given this, it is crucial that you provide sufficient details
to place the analysis that will follow into proper context; don't make the mistake of providing a
description without context. The description section of a field report is similar to a well written
piece of journalism. Therefore, a helpful approach to systematically describing the varying
aspects of an observed situation is to answer the "Five W’s of Investigative Reporting." These
are:
 What -- describe what you observed. Note the temporal, physical, and social boundaries
you imposed to limit the observations you made. What were your general impressions of
the situation you were observing. For example, as a student teacher, what is your
impression of the application of iPads as a learning device in a history class; as a cultural
anthropologist, what is your impression of women's participation in a Native American
religious ritual?
 Where -- provide background information about the setting of your observation and, if
necessary, note important material objects that are present that help contextualize the
observation [e.g., arrangement of computers in relation to student engagement with the
teacher].
 When -- record factual data about the day and the beginning and ending time of each
observation. Note that it may also be necessary to include background information or key
events which impact upon the situation you were observing [e.g., observing the ability of
teachers to re-engage students after coming back from an unannounced fire drill].
 Who -- note background and demographic information about the individuals being
observed e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, and/or any other variables relevant to your study].
Record who is doing what and saying what, as well as, who is not doing or saying what. If
relevant, be sure to record who was missing from the observation.
 Why -- why were you doing this? Describe the reasons for selecting particular situations
to observe. Note why something happened. Also note why you may have included or
excluded certain information.
III. Interpretation and Analysis
Always place the analysis and interpretations of your field observations within the larger
context of the theories and issues you described in the introduction. Part of your responsibility
in analyzing the data is to determine which observations are worthy of comment and
interpretation, and which observations are more general in nature. It is your theoretical
framework that allows you to make these decisions. You need to demonstrate to the reader
that you are looking at the situation through the eyes of an informed viewer, not as a lay
person.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when analyzing your observations:

 What is the meaning of what you have observed?


 Why do you think what you observed happened? What evidence do you have for your
reasoning?
 What events or behaviors were typical or widespread? If appropriate, what was
unusual or out of ordinary? How were they distributed among categories of people?
 Do you see any connections or patterns in what you observed?
 Why did the people you observed proceed with an action in the way that they did?
What are the implications of this?
 Did the stated or implicit objectives of what you were observing match what was
achieved?
 What were the relative merits of the behaviors you observed?
 What were the strengths and weaknesses of the observations you recorded?
 Do you see connections between what you observed and the findings of similar studies
identified from your review of the literature?
 How do your observations fit into the larger context of professional practice? In what
ways have your observations possibly changed or affirmed your perceptions of
professional practice?
 Have you learned anything from what you observed?
IV. Conclusion and Recommendations
The conclusion should briefly recap of the entire study, reiterating the importance or significance
of your observations. Avoid including any new information. You should also state any
recommendations you may have. Be sure to describe any unanticipated problems you
encountered and note the limitations of your study. The conclusion should not be more than two
or three paragraphs.
V. Appendices
This is where you would place information that is not essential to explaining your findings, but that
supports your analysis [especially repetitive or lengthy information], that validates your
conclusions, or that contextualizes a related point that helps the reader understand the overall
report. Examples of information that could be included in an appendix are
figures/tables/charts/graphs of results, statistics, pictures, maps, drawings, or, if applicable,
transcripts of interviews. There is no limit to what can be included in the appendix or its format
[e.g., a DVD recording of the observation site], provided that it is relevant to the study's purpose
and reference is made to it in the report. If information is placed in more than one appendix
["appendices"], the order in which they are organized is dictated by the order they were first
mentioned in the text of the report.
VI. References
List all sources that you consulted and obtained information from while writing your field report.
Note that field reports generally do not include further readings or an extended bibliography.
However, consult with your professor concerning what your list of sources should be included. Be
sure to write them in the preferred citation style of your discipline [i.e., APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.].
(English for Academic and Professional Purpose – Lecture Notes 08/02/2019)
CRITIQUE PAPER
- require students to conduct a critical analysis of another piece of writing, often a book,
journal article, or essay.
- Presents the weaknesses and strengths of a literary piece.
A. STEPS
1. Laying the Groundwork
Examine the prompt or assignment. Be sure you understand exactly what you are being
asked to do. The assignment may use the word “critique,” or it might use a phrase such
as “critical assessment,” “critical review,” or “critical evaluation.” All of these are critique
assignments and will require you to not only summarize but evaluate the work you are
discussing.

Read the text. Keep in mind some questions and take notes as you read. These will help
guide your formulation of your ideas later. For example:
 Does the creator clearly state her/his main point or goal? If not, why do you think that is?
 Who do you think is the creator’s intended audience? This can be crucial to determining
the success of a work; for example, a movie intended for young children might work well
for its intended audience but not for adult viewers.
 What reactions do you have when reading or viewing this work? Does it provoke emotional
responses? Do you feel confused?
 What questions does the work make you think of? Does it suggest other avenues of
exploration or observation to you?

Do some research. You usually will not need to do a lot of research, but in order to talk
about how the work relates to a larger issue or context, you will need to know what it is
responding to, what context it was created in, etc.
 For example, if you're critiquing a research article about a new treatment for the flu, a little
research about other flu treatments currently available could be helpful to you when
situating the work in context.
 As another example, if you're writing about a movie, you might want to briefly discuss the
director's other films, or other important movies in this particular genre (indie, action,
drama, etc.).
 Your school or university library is usually a good place to start when conducting research,
as their databases provide verified, expert sources. Google Scholar can also be a good
source for research.

2. Writing the Introductory Paragraph

Give the basic information about the work. The first paragraph is your introduction to
the work, and you should give the basic information about it in this paragraph. This
information will include the author’s or creator’s name(s), the title of the work, and the date
of its creation.
 For a work of fiction or a published work of journalism or research, this information is
usually available in the publication itself, such as on the copyright page for a novel.
 For a film, you may wish to refer to a source such as IMDb to get the information you need.
If you're critiquing a famous artwork, an encyclopedia of art would be a good place to find
information on the creator, the title, and important dates (date of creation, date of
exhibition, etc.).
Provide a context for the work. The type of context you provide will vary based on what type
of work you’re evaluating. You should aim to give the reader some understanding of what
issues the creator or author may have been responding to, but you don’t need to provide an
exhaustive history. Just give your reader enough information to be able to understand the rest
of your critique.

 For example, if you’re assessing a research article in the sciences, a quick overview of its
place in the academic discussion could be useful (e.g., “Professor X’s work on fruit flies is
part of a long research tradition on Blah Blah Blah.”)
 If you are evaluating a painting, giving some brief information on where it was first
displayed, for whom it was painted, etc., would be useful.
 If you are assessing a novel, it could be good to talk about what genre or literary tradition
the novel is written within (e.g., fantasy, High Modernism, romance). You may also want
to include details about the author’s biography that seem particularly relevant to your
critique.
 For a media item, such as a news article, consider the social and/or political context of the
media outlet the item came from (e.g., Fox News, BBC, etc.) and of the issue it is dealing
with (e.g., immigration, education, entertainment).
Summarize the creator’s goal or purpose in creating the work. This element should
consider what the thesis or purpose of the work is. Sometimes, this may be clearly stated,
such as in a research article. For other texts or creative works, you may have to formulate
what you believe to be the creator’s goal or purpose yourself.
 The authors of research articles will often state very clearly in the abstract and in the
introduction to their work what they are investigating, often with sentences that say
something like this: "In this article we provide a new framework for analyzing X and argue
that it is superior to previous methods because of reason A and reason B."
 For creative works, you may not have an explicit statement from the author or creator
about their purpose, but you can often infer one from the context the work occupies. For
example, if you were examining the movie The Shining, you might argue that the filmmaker
Stanley Kubrick's goal is to call attention to the poor treatment of Native Americans
because of the strong Native American themes present in the movie. You could then
present the reasons why you think that in the rest of the essay.
Summarize the main points of the work. Describe, briefly, how the main points are made.
For example, you might talk about a work's use of characters or symbolism to depict its point
about society, or you could talk about the research questions and hypotheses in a journal
article.
 For example, if you were writing about The Shining, you could summarize the main points this
way: "Stanley Kubrick uses strong symbolism, such as the placement of the movie's hotel on
an Indian burial ground, the naming of the hotel "Overlook," and the constant presence of
Native American artwork and representation, to call viewers' attention to America's treatment
of Native Americans in history."
Present your initial assessment. This will serve as your thesis statement, and should make
a claim about the work’s general effectiveness and/or usefulness. Is your evaluation going to
be principally positive, negative, or mixed?[4]

 For a research article, you will probably want to focus your thesis on whether the research
and discussion supported the authors' claims. You may also wish to critique the research
methodology, if there are obvious flaws present.
 For creative works, consider what you believe the author or creator's goal was in making the
work, and then present your assessment of whether or not they achieved that goal.

3. Writing the Body


Organize your critical evaluations. These should form the bulk of your critique and should
be a minimum of three paragraphs. You can choose to organize your critique differently
depending on how you want to approach your critique. However, you should devote a
paragraph to each main topic, using the rest of the steps in this section to develop each
paragraph's discussion.[5]

 If you have three clear points about your work, you can organize each paragraph by point. For
example, if you are analyzing a painting, you might critique the painter’s use of color, light,
and composition, devoting a paragraph to each topic.
 If you have more than three points about your work, you can organize each paragraph
thematically. For example, if you are critiquing a movie and want to talk about its treatment of
women, its screenwriting, its pacing, its use of color and framing, and its acting, you might
think about the broader categories that these points fall into, such as “production” (pacing,
color and framing, screenwriting), “social commentary” (treatment of women), and
“performance” (acting).
 Alternatively, you could organize your critique by “strengths” and “weaknesses.” The aim of a
critique is not merely to criticize, but to point out what the creator or author has done well and
what s/he has not.

Discuss the techniques or styles used in the work. This is particularly important when
evaluating creative works, such as literature, art, and music. Offer your evaluation of how
effectively the creator uses the techniques or stylistic choices s/he has made to promote her/his
purpose.
 For example, if you are critiquing a song, you could consider how the beat or tone of the music
supports or detracts from the lyrics.
 For a research article or a media item, you may want to consider questions such as how the data
was gathered in an experiment, or what method a journalist used to discover information.
Explain what types of evidence or argument are used. This may be more useful in a critique
of a media item or research article. Consider how the author of the work uses other sources, their
own evidence, and logic in their arguments.

 Does the author use primary sources (e.g., historical documents, interviews, etc.)? Secondary
sources? Quantitative data? Qualitative data? Are these sources appropriate for the argument?
 Has evidence been presented fairly, without distortion or selectivity?
 Does the argument proceed logically from the evidence used?

Determine what the work adds to the understanding of its topic. There are a couple of ways
to approach this. Your goal in this section should be an assessment of the overall usefulness of
the work.
 If the work is a creative work, consider whether it presents its ideas in an original or interesting
way. You can also consider whether it engages with key concepts or ideas in popular culture or
society.
 If the work is a research article, you can consider whether the work enhances your understanding
of a particular theory or idea in its discipline. Research articles often include a section on “further
research” where they discuss the contributions their research has made and what future
contributions they hope to make.

Use examples for each point. Back up your assertions with evidence from your text or work that
support your claim about each point. For example, if you were critiquing a novel and found the
writing dull, you might provide a particularly boring quotation as evidence, and then explain why
the writing did not appeal to you.

4. Writing the Conclusion and References


State your overall assessment of the work. This should be a statement about the overall
success of the work. Did it accomplish the creator’s goal or purpose? If so, how did it achieve this
success? If not, what went wrong?

Summarize your key reasons for this assessment. While you should have already presented
evidence for your claims in the body paragraphs, you should provide a short restatement of your
key reasons here. This could be as simple as one sentence that says something like “Because of
the researcher’s attention to detail, careful methodology, and clear description of the results, this
article provides a useful overview of topic X.”
Recommend any areas for improvement, if appropriate. Your assignment or prompt will
usually say if recommendations are appropriate for the critique. This element seems to be more
common when critiquing a research article or media item, but it could also apply to critiques of
creative works as well.

Provide a list of references. How you present these will depend on your instructor’s preferences
and the style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.) that is appropriate to your discipline. However you format
this list, you should always include all the sources you used in your critique.

B. OUTLINE
1. Introduction
Begin your paper by describing the journal article and authors you are critiquing. Provide the
main hypothesis or thesis of the paper and explain why you think the information is relevant.
2. Thesis Statement
The final part of your introduction should include your thesis statement. Your thesis
statement is the main idea of your critique. Your thesis should briefly sum up the main points
of your critique.
3. Article Summary
Provide a brief summary of the article, outlining the main points, results and discussion. Be
careful not to get too bogged down by your summary. Remember, this section of your paper
should highlight the main points of the article you are critiquing. Don't feel obligated to
summarize each little detail of the main paper. Focus instead on giving the reader an overall
idea of the content of the article.
3. Your Analysis
In this section, you should provide your critique of the article. Describe any problems you
had with the authors premise, methods, or conclusions. Your critique might focus on
problems with the authors argument, presentation or on information, and alternatives that
have been overlooked. Organize your paper carefully and be careful not to jump around
from one argument to the next. Argue one point at a time. Doing this will ensure that your
paper flow's well and is easy to read.
4. Conclusion
Your critique paper should end with an overview of the articles argument, your conclusions
and your reactions.
REACTION PAPER
- A reaction paper is a type of written assignment, which requires personal opinion and
conclusions on a given article or abstract. Unlike a summary, a reaction paper should
contain your own thoughts on the problem, discussed in the original text. It aims to show
professor how deep your understanding of the situation is and how well you can use your
analytical skills.
The first part of your paper should contain information on the author and the topic. You need to
write down the main ideas and highlight the main points of the paper. You can use direct
quotations if needed. Avoid your personal opinion in this section. The second part should contain
your personal thoughts on the subject. Focus on a main problem or address all of them and
describe your opinion. Explain how the material can relate to the modern world, to the society or
separate individuals. Back your statements with sources if needed and make conclusions whether
you support the author or not.

A. FOUR BASIC STANDARDS OF EFFECTIVE WRITING


1. Coherence
2. Support
3. Clear, error-free sentences
4. Unity
B. THINGS TO DO:
 Read the material carefully
Whether it is a book, article, or a film, make sure to read or watch it very carefully.
Sometimes, you will need to repeat this procedure for a couple of times.
 Mark interesting places while reading/watching
This will help you focus on the aspects that impressed you the most and come back to
them after you are done with reading or watching.
 Write down your thought while reading/watching
Doing so, you won’t forget any important ideas that came to your head.
 Come up with a thesis statement
Use your notes to formulate a central idea you will develop in your further work. Then put
it in one sentence and make it your thesis statement.
 Compose an outline
Every time you write an academic paper, you need to make an outline. Try at least once
and you will see how helpful an outline could be!
 Construct your paper
Only when all the preparations are done, start writing a paper itself
C. STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO HELP YOU GET YOUR PAPER DONE:
 Start with a draft
You can’t do without it! Use your outline to compose the first draft and reveal the basic
elements of your work. Remember, you need an entire draft written carefully from the
beginning to the end to understand what exactly you should include into the first paragraph
of your finished work. Your overall point must be stated clearly in the first paragraph and
you can’t do it without having a full picture of your paper.
 Express your opinion
It’s a reaction paper, so don’t be shy to express your own thoughts. In this case, there is
nothing weird about all these “I feel” and “I think”. Of course, your tutor expects that your
reaction will be thoughtful and sophisticated, so do not despise including a bit of analysis
and background information.
 Do not get carried away with criticism
Some students think that reaction papers give them an absolute freedom of expression
and go to extremes with criticism. It’s okay to critique a book or film, but you don’t have to
be rude and nasty! Remember that critiques without evidence and clear examples is
always baseless and boring to read.